Concertgoers live in a world they believe to be loud and free. But there is, unheard by most, an outer world, a barrier between in and out, just as loud but not as free as they thought — the world outside a venue, where the door guy simply wants you to pay the cover charge. Welcome to a few nights in the life of Tin Roof’s door dude, Rex Stickel.


9:39 p.m.

Two biker guys walk up.

Me: “Hey man, the cover is $7.”

Guy: “Uh … I don’t carry cash — you’ll have to get the money from him.”

Me: “So he’s the money man, huh?”


Me: “Sorry, guy.”


10:51 p.m.

Me: “We’ve got five acts tonight all on tour from outside the U.S., so the cover is $8.”

Girl: “Can’t we just tip like 30 percent at the bar and that will cover it?”

Me: “No, then that money will go to the bartender. We need to pay the working musicians that are performing tonight.”

Girl: “Here’s $10 for the both of us.”

Me: “OK?”

Girl: “Actually I want to just give it to him myself.”

Me: “Give it to who? I’m the door guy.”

Girl: “The bartender. You just said it goes to the bartender.”

Me: *floats away slowly like a balloon*


9:09 p.m.

Me: “We have a $5 cover tonight.”

Guy: “I don’t believe you. You’re just some guy in a chair.”

Me: “Well, I AM a guy in a chair. You don’t read the paper, do you?”

9:56 p.m.

Me: “There’s a $5 cover tonight.”

Two ladies rush past me.

Me: “HEY! I said there’s a cover.”

Lady: “Oh, we pay you?”

Me: “Yeah, we generally don’t have one guy to tell you about the cover and another guy to take the money inside.”

11:13 p.m.

Gee, who would have thought the white lady wearing a traditional Native American headdress would be by far the most annoying person in the place.


9:26 p.m.

Me: “Hey man, the cover is $5.”

Band guy: “Oh shit! I just thought you were some guy just chillin’ hard out here!”

Me: “Naw man, I’m on the clock.”

Band guy: “It would be a helluva way to make money.”

Me: “Yeah, and I’m the dummy who gives it away at the end of the night.”


8:58 p.m.

Me: “The cover tonight is $10.”

Guy: “Aw hell, I always get by on my good looks. Ask that guy over there with the hat. He’s got the money.”

Me: “He’s the guy to ask, huh?”

Guy: “Yeah, I’m poor as hell, but I’m a fantastic lover.”

Me: “Cool, I’ll confirm that with him.”

9:31 p.m.

Just asked someone if their insulin pump was a pager, just in case you ever wondered if I was an asshole.


9:30 p.m.

Me: “It’s $7 tonight.”

Lady: “$7 a piece??”

Me: “Yes ma’am.”

Lady: “Well I hope it all is going to my son.”

Me: “Yeah, all the money is just going to this one dude.”

10:23 p.m.

When a random group of luchadores show up and ask for a deal to let their group in, you cut them a deal, dammit.


8:53 p.m.

Me: “You guys got your IDs on you?”

Guy hands me his ID. His friend just stares.

Guy: “He’s from Australia.”

Me: “Oh. So, no ID?”

Aussie Guy: “No, I’ve got it.”

Me: “Is it upside down or something?”

10:01 p.m.

Me: “It’s a $5 cover tonight.”

Girl: “Um, I don’t have five dollars.”

Me: “Well, we do have an ATM machine.”

Girl: “All I have is a 20.”

Me: *stares blankly*

10:54 p.m.

Me: “Hey man, there’s a $5 cover tonight.”

Guy: “We’re just here to play pool.”

Me: “Well you definitely gotta pay the cover then.”

Guy: “Why do we have to pay when we’re not here for the bands? We just want to play pool.”

Me: “Well considering you plan on playing pool while the band is on, the least you could do is pay the $5 since the band has to listen to your game.”

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